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Meet the Press - January 3, 2016

MEET THE PRESS - JAN. 3, 2015

CHUCK TODD:

This Sunday, the one-month sprint to Iowa and New Hampshire begins.

SEN TED CRUZ:

We are all in Iowa. We are all in in New Hampshire.

CHUCK TODD:

While Donald Trump takes aim at Hillary Clinton by attacking Bill Clinton's sexual peccadilloes.

DONALD TRUMP:

That certainly will be fair game. But certainly, if they play the woman's card with respect to me,

CHUCK TODD:

It may be fair game, but it's never worked before against Hillary. Will it now?

Also, the battle to be the Republican establishment anti-Trump or anti-Cruz, John Kasich and Rand Paul join me live.

Plus, anger in America. Some surprising results from our new Esquire survey. And guess what? White men, they're not the angriest.

And Jerry Seinfeld, in a car, getting coffee with the president of the United States.

JERRY SEINFELD:

Do you ever think about every person you talk to is putting on an act? A total show?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

It's a problem.

CHUCK TODD:

And joining me for insight and analysis this Sunday morning are host of MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews. The Washington Post's right turn columnist, Jennifer Rubin. White House political director under George W. Bush and a CNBC contributor, Sara Fagen. And The Washington Post columnist, Eugene Robinson. Welcome to Sunday. It's Meet the Press.

ANNOUNCER:

From NBC News in Washington, this is Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.

CHUCK TODD:

Good Sunday morning. Happy new year. 2016 is finally here. We can really focus now on the presidential race. I'm teasing, of course. But it does mean one thing: The sprint to the opening presidential contest in Iowa and New Hampshire begins. And we hope to learn the answers to at least these three questions: Will Trump voters show up, who's going to be the anti-Trump and anti-Cruz establishment candidate, and can Democrats truly get excited about Hillary Clinton.

Just look at how packed the schedule is over the next seven days in Iowa. The presidential candidates will hold a total of 44 events. That's just in the next week. By the way, 28 of those events are by Ted Cruz alone. An acknowledgement that Iowa is must-win for the Texas senator.

In New Hampshire, the story is similar, 58 events scheduled in the next week. An acknowledgement actually that more candidates view New Hampshire as do or die than Iowa now. And as for the polling, it's catnip, but be cautious. In our most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, taken just eight weeks before Iowa, Donald Trump led the Republican pack with 27 percent, closely followed by a surging Ted Cruz at 22 percent.

Democrat side, Hillary Clinton, well ahead of Bernie Sanders. But beware. Just look at where we were eight years ago at this same stage of the race. Eight weeks out, Rudy Giuliani was way out in front. Remember how his presidency turned out? He was doubling the showing of the eventual nominee, John McCain. And Hillary Clinton? She had an even bigger lead over that Illinois senator named Barack Obama. Bigger one than she has over Sanders today.

In a moment, we're going to look at the developing fight between the two leading candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, over Bill Clinton's sexual past. And we're going to talk to two of the Republican candidates who will be making their do-or-die stand in New Hampshire. But first, let's go to the centers of the political universe for the next 37 days, New Hampshire and Iowa. And Kristen Welker and Hallie Jackson are standing by. Let me start with Hallie in Iowa. Hallie, we know that it's Cruz or bust when it comes to Iowa. But who else is in the game there? Trump, Rubio, what else was going on?

HALLIE JACKSON:

Well, look at who's here this week, Chuck. You've got Ted Cruz doing his 28 county, six day bus tour. He's coming out hard, trying to show his campaign is framing it, that he's not taking any votes here in Iowa for granted. Mike Huckabee is doing 150 stops here over the next month. He's got four in the can already.

So he is a presence. Both of these candidates doing that sort of traditional, on-the-ground retail politicking in Iowa. Donald Trump, taking that more nontraditional stamp. He will be here on Saturday. For Cruz, Chuck, you talked about him, the big question is, are expectations potentially for him too high here? Yes, he's got the money, he's got the organization to go long-term, the way that other Iowa winners in the past have not had. But if he doesn't come in a strong first here, it'll be a blow to his campaign.

CHUCK TODD:

There's no doubt that, third place, assuming that it's Cruz and Trump, third place becomes an interesting battle. Is it Marco Rubio's to lose?

HALLIE JACKSON:

Potentially, especially if you look at where the polling is now, Chuck. And for Rubio's campaign, they need at least, at the very minimum, a strong third-place finish here in Iowa. They can afford to do that if the first two finishers are Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. But at no point in this race, especially in Iowa, New Hampshire, can Marco Rubio come in behind Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, or John Kasich.

He has got to pull out ahead of those establishment candidates. So if you buy into that, where is Marco Rubio going to spend more of his time? He's got to maintain where he is right now in Iowa, and he's got to build where he is in New Hampshire to try to break away from that establishment pack.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. Hallie Jackson in Iowa. Now let's shift over. Kristen Welker is standing by in gorgeous Manchester, New Hampshire. And Kristen, let's start a little bit with the Democrats before we get into to do-or-die sense. Look, New Hampshire, very good to the Clintons over the years. And yet, she might be an underdog there. But her big battle is to make sure she wins Iowa and doesn't give Sanders any ground.

KRISTEN WELKER:

Absolutely. And it's a real jump ball here right now in New Hampshire, Chuck. The stakes really couldn't be higher because if Secretary Clinton wins here in New Hampshire, it would allow her to lock up the nomination early. But this is a must-win state for Bernie Sanders. And right now, as you point out, a number of polls show that he has the lead here. He's from neighboring Vermont.

His message about economic equality, taking on the big banks in Wall Street have really resonated with the progressive voters here. He has 18 field offices. And overall, in the last quarter, he raised $33 million, just $4 million shy of secretary Clinton. So he's in a strong spot. But Secretary Clinton tried to match that.

She's added some events here in New Hampshire today, she's deploying her not-so-secret weapon, former President Bill Clinton, tomorrow. Of course, Chuck, as you point out, they have a relationship with New Hampshire as well. This is the spot where Bill Clinton proclaimed that he was the "comeback kid." It is that state that revived Secretary Clinton's chances for winning the nomination in 2008. The question is, will they be able to revive that excitement this election cycle?

CHUCK TODD:

Well, it's going to be something to watch. Bill Clinton making his campaign '16 debut. Anyway, Kristen Welker in New Hampshire, Hallie Jackson in Iowa, let the games begin. Well, it's no secret that the Republican establishment takes a dim view of both Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz. And they've been looking hard for an alternative. But who? Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie? Those three have yet to break through.

The crowded G.O.P. field makes it that much tougher for any of these so-called "establishment" guys to dominate. New Hampshire is do or die for two candidates hoping to emerge as an alternative to Trump and Cruz. Governor John Kasich of Ohio and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. And both are joining me this morning. Let me start in Ohio with Governor Kasich. Governor, good morning to you. Welcome back to Meet the Press.

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

Thank you.

CHUCK TODD:

So, New Hampshire, do or die for you? Is that fair? Are we saying this correctly? And what does "do or die" mean? Win? Or just be the first guy after Trump and Cruz?

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

Well, we want to be the story, Chuck. And let me just tell you that we're on the ballot now in over 30 states. We also have husband our resources well enough where we're actually going to be pricing a television ad up this week. It shows that, you know, people just keep counting me out. They have all my career. We just keep plugging along. And so I want to be a story. And if I'm a story, I believe I'll win the nomination if I come out of New Hampshire in a strong position.

CHUCK TODD:

The assumption is that you're fighting with three other candidates in New Hampshire sort of for the same type of New Hampshire voter. And that's Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and yourself. Let's start with the governor who's surging right now, which arguably is Chris Christie. Why is he surging right now and why are you struggling to keep up with him?

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

Well, look. The latest poll we had right before Christmas put me one point out of second place. So Chuck, I mean, you have all kinds of polls, but the last one that came out, the independent poll, put me one point behind Rubio. And just seven or eight points behind Trump. So we believe we are surging. And we do have a great team. And you're going to see it because of what we have on the ground with great enthusiasm.

CHUCK TODD:

But it doesn't say why is it the fact that you've, voters in Ohio give you high marks. Voters, for instance, in New Jersey, give Governor Christie low marks. In New Hampshire, that hasn't mattered. Why?

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

Well, I don't know. You know, here in Ohio, we have a balanced budget. They don't over in New Jersey. Our credit has been strengthened. Their credit has been downgraded. We've got more jobs. And then beyond all of that, always the hit is, well, you know, he has a Republican legislature. But I was chairman of the budget committee when we balanced the budget and Bill Clinton was president.

So I can't explain it to you other than in Ohio, there's great optimism about the future here both economically and also the sense that everybody has a voice here in the state. Why it's happening in New Jersey, I don't know. But when you look at the records, you know, frankly Ohio is one of the fastest growing and strongest states in the country with even rock-solid pensions, which most states don't have. And so I guess that's it.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me ask you this. A Republican strategist said this about your candidacy. I thought it was interesting. "He's been trying to be aggressively bipartisan, and that's kind of not where the Republican electorate is. He's trying to be aggressively responsible, and that doesn't seem to be resonating that much in the polls." Is that what you're finding out?

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

Well, again Chuck, I have to tell you. We are, like, one point out of second place. So it is resonating. And secondly, you know, the thing that's happening is the voters think the whole system is gamed, okay? And they think that the rich people, the special interests get all the voice and they have none.

And I am the voice of people who have never been listened to really very much throughout my entire career, both in the Congress and as governor of Ohio. And that's the message that I have in New Hampshire and people who are worried about their jobs or their children getting the job, I'm the one that stands up and speaks for them, including those folks who live in the shadows. So we feel very good about where we are in New Hampshire. And, you know, I won't be the comeback kid. I'll just be the story coming out of that state. That's what we all believe and we're hoping for.

CHUCK TODD:

You've been one of these candidates that says you're going to support whoever the Republican nominee is. But you had an ad that essentially created an allusion to Donald Trump and fascism and the Nazis. Given that you ran an ad like that, how can you feel comfortable supporting Donald Trump as the Republican nominee?

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

Well, first of all, that's not what that was about. It was a P.O.W. who served in Vietnam and Hanoi Hilton was tortured for five years, who said the country needs to be brought together. The country shouldn't be divided. And I've been arguing all along that we have to have real solutions to real problems.

And people who divide, or for that matter, people who have no experience. Chuck, let me tell you this. Republicans have run around for seven years saying this: "I can't believe we picked a one-term, United States senator who has no experience to be president." I just sometimes wonder whether the party's got amnesia.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, but you didn't answer the question on Trump. Why are you comfortable, why would you be comfortable supporting him as the nominee?

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

Because we've got a long way to go to the nomination. I don't believe he'll be the nominee. Secondly, I'd like to see his positions become more positive. Because I'll tell you this. If he comes into Ohio as a divider, he can't win. And what I want to do is beat Hillary Clinton. We need somebody that's going to lift people and unite people.

CHUCK TODD:

Before I let you go, I'm going to ask you about the Tamir Rice decision. The grand jury decided not to indict the police officers involved in that shooting. You said protesters need to be heard. So let me ask you. What did you hear?

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

Well, they're very frustrated. That's why we've created a police and community collaborative. You noticed that we have no violence in Cleveland with the second controversial decision. The credit goes to the community leaders, also to the mayor. And the fact is, the people in Cleveland are saying, "Well, this is frustrating, you know, we don't want to tear our town down."

In addition, our Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor is beginning to look at the whole grand jury process. So we've been ahead of the curve on this. Let's just hope that the situation can continue and it can be peaceful, even though people still are disgruntled and want to protest.

CHUCK TODD:

I was just going to say, Governor, you called it a controversial decision. It sounds like you don't agree with the grand jury's decision.

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

I don't comment on grand jury decisions. This is for the people in Cleveland to decide. But people are on both sides of the issue. You know, they feel very strongly. It's a loss of a 12-year-old life, and of course it's going to be controversial, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. Governor John Kasich, Republican from Ohio.

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

Happy new year.

CHUCK TODD:

Happy new year to you, sir. Thank you. Thanks for being on. Well, let me turn to now a little bit south of Ohio and into Kentucky, Republican Senator Rand Paul. Senator Paul, welcome back to Meet the Press, sir.

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Thanks for having me.

CHUCK TODD:

I looked at your campaign schedule. The last public event you had was on December 16th. That was in Nevada after the last debate. You haven't been to Iowa since, I believe, the 12th. In New Hampshire, before that. I have to ask, senator, what's going on? Two weeks off the campaign trail, are you still fully running?

SEN. RAND PAUL:

You know, I also believe in being with my family. I also had to hone up my surgical skills. I've been doing some pro bono surgery. I also had a few fundraising trips around the country in between then. But I think we've been to Iowa and New Hampshire as much or more than any other candidate. I'll be in New Hampshire, well actually, New Hampshire this evening, and then I'll be in New York, and then I'll be in Iowa for the rest of the week.

So we also do a job. I mean, I have a job as senator. I'm one of the few of the candidates that actually shows up to vote. Both Cruz and Rubio are missing the vast majority of their votes. But I feel an obligation to the taxpayer that pays my salary.

CHUCK TODD:

I was just going to say, you've taken to Twitter quite a bit though in that time. First it was to celebrate Festivus. We have a big Seinfeld-themed show apparently today. But also, you did some New Year's resolutions. And you went right after Senator Rubio and Cruz.

You said, "I resolve to spend less time voting in the Senate so Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz don't look so bad." Then you said this about Ted Cruz, "I resolve to give Ted Cruz more lead time before I announce my policy positions so he can replicate them faster." So you believe that basically he steals all your ideas?

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Well, you know, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And I think on foreign policy, he started talking about regime change being a bad idea, toppling secular dictators being a bad idea. And I think I've been the leader on that issue and I continue to. And it's an important voice.

In fact, I think that was the most important thing we've had the entire presidential season, is we've finally had a real debate over foreign policy, over whether regime change is a good idea. They need to have that on the Democrat side too. Because it turns out that probably the most likely candidate to take us back to war is Hillary Clinton. Because she supports regime change as a good concept.

CHUCK TODD:

You know, it's interesting, Senator. When I read what you say about ISIS and your strategy to take on ISIS, and I hear president Obama say what he says about ISIS, I don't see a lot of daylight between the two of you. Where am I wrong?

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Actually, the difference is, is that President Obama and Hillary Clinton both supported arming the Syrian rebels, the Islamic rebels against Assad. I wouldn't have done that. They also supported toppling Gaddafi in Libya. So really, the interesting thing is, is while Obama gets blamed for not intervening enough, he's actually intervened quite a bit in the Middle East. And I think not to our benefit.

And so I wouldn't arm the rebels in Syria, I wouldn't have toppled Gaddafi. And we continue to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, which continues to be sort of an arsonist in that region, fanning the flames. You know, just yesterday executing a Shiite cleric, which I think is going to erupt into more problems in Saudi Arabia.

So no, I think my foreign policy is quite a bit different. I also don't believe in giving foreign aid to people who are our enemies and supplying weapons to the allies of Al Qaeda, as Obama has. So really, I'm kind of the opposite. The interesting thing is, is the Grahams and the McCains have been on the same side as Obama. They just want more of what Obama's been doing.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me ask you one more question about Ted Cruz. Do you think he deserves this reputation in the Senate that he's difficult to work with?

SEN. RAND PAUL:

You know, I think people have different strategies and approaches to how they deal with people. I've had many disagreements with those in leadership. But I could try to keep it on a professional basis. I don't go to the floor and call people liars, because I don't think that one, that meets the rules of the Senate. The rules of the Senate say you're not supposed to attack someone's character.

And I think you can call them out, and I've given ten-hour speeches, 13-hour speeches, without calling anybody names. But talking about the history of our country, the importance of the Bill of Rights, the importance of the Fourth Amendment and privacy. But I tend not to have the same strategy of attacking people personally. It hasn't done well for them in Washington. It may be rousing people, but ultimately, I don't think that personality would allow him to be the nominee.

CHUCK TODD:

You know, you started this race as one of the frontrunners. A lot of people thought you were going to be one of the frontrunners at this point in time. You're not there right now. That doesn't mean you won't be at some point. But are you frustrated with how this campaign has turned out? The focus on Trump? What is it that is-- I feel the frustration in reading your tweets. You clearly are. Can you put it into words?

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Yeah, the interesting thing is, is that I think the polls are not scientific. A lot of people who follow polls never had any math classes. They don't understand anything about standard error, standard deviation.

CHUCK TODD:

You are right about that.

SEN. RAND PAUL:

And the problem is that and they've been way wrong. I mean, look, we just had polling in the Kentucky race. And a week before, when they're supposed to be most accurate, they're off 13 points. So if I do have a frustration, it's that we're being led by the nose and the news media is led by the nose to think that somehow Trump is going to win this because of these polls.

The polls don't, I believe capture who's going to actually vote. Look, we have great popularity with students. I had a thousand students at George Washington a few weeks ago, a thousand students at Iowa State. And the thing is, is have you ever met a college student that has answered a presidential poll?

If we turn them out, we're going to shock people like you've never seen. But the problem is, is it's a self-fulfilling cycle. Everybody's reporting in strong for Rubio or this or that. And really, in the end, nobody knows and we ought to have maybe a little bit more of an even approach to how we approach the news.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, I'm in favor of wait and see what the voters saying.

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Just saying.

CHUCK TODD:

Fair enough. Senator Rand Paul, happy new year, sir. Stay safe on the trail.

SEN. RAND PAUL:

Thank you, happy new year to you.

CHUCK TODD:

Appreciate it. Up next, Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton. He did it again this morning, folks. Clinton accuses Trump of sexism. And Trump hits back by going after Bill. Attacking Bill to get to Hillary has never worked before. Can Trump change it?

* * *COMMERCIAL BREAK* * *

CHUCK TODD:

Well, one of the most significant developments this past week was the emerging battle between two candidates who just might face off in November, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Clinton accused Trump of sexism. And Trump decided to fire back. He says, "If that's how she wants to play it, fine." Then it's fair for him to go after Bill Clinton and his history with women.

(BEGIN TAPE)

DONALD TRUMP:

She wants to accuse me of things, and the husband's one of the great abusers of the world? Give me a break.

CHUCK TODD:

Donald Trump is making it clear nothing is off limits, including the Clinton marriage.

DONALD TRUMP:

If he's going to be out there campaigning, then he's certainly fair game.

CHUCK TODD:

Tomorrow, former President Bill Clinton will make his first solo campaign stop for the cycle in New Hampshire.

BILL CLINTON:

I am tired of the stranglehold that women have had on the job of presidential spouse.

CHUCK TODD:

Nearly nine months after announcing her presidential bid, Hillary Clinton is still struggling on how to effectively use her most high-profile surrogate. President Clinton has had a mixed record campaigning for others.

BILL CLINTON:

(NAT SOUND) I don't have to defend myself on ..

CHUCK TODD:

In 2008, his bitter attacks on then Senator Obama backfired.

BILL CLINTON:

Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairytale I've ever seen.

CHUCK TODD:

In 2012, he became Obama's best stand-in, embracing his role at the President's "secretary of explaining stuff."

BILL CLINTON:

We were losing 750,000 jobs a month. Are we doing better in that today? The answer is yes.

CHUCK TODD:

This year, Bill Clinton remains the most popular political figure in America. It's still not clear whether he's an asset or a liability for his wife's campaign. Bernie Sanders is campaigning against Bill Clinton's centrist school of Democratic policy.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS:

I led, helped lead the effort as a member of the House Financial Committee, against Alan Greenspan, against a guy named Bill Clinton. Maybe you know him, maybe you don't.

CHUCK TODD:

Hillary Clinton has carefully distanced herself from her husband's legacy on free trade, financial regulation, and criminal justice. But she has also embraced Bill Clinton's economic successes.

HILLARY CLINTON:

I am not running for my husband's third term. And I am not running for Barack Obama's third term. I'm running for my first term.

CHUCK TODD:

But Trump is trying to do to Hillary what no Republican has successfully done. Make Bill Clinton's personal problem a political liability for her. Trump wasn't always so critical of the former president's personal life. The Clintons were guests what Trump's third wedding. And in the late '90s, Trump criticized quote, "moralists in Congress who expressed public outrage at the president's immoral behavior."

DONALD TRUMP:

He had sex. But now they talk about the kind of sex, the where it took place, where it was, on the desk, off the desk. I mean, it's so out of control.

CHUCK TODD:

Even in 2008, Trump called Clinton's affair totally unimportant. And Trump has his own complicated marital history.

REPORTER:

Are your own personal indiscretions fair game in this campaign?

DONALD TRUMP:

Yes, they would be. And frankly, Hillary brought up the whole thing with sex history. And all I did was reverse it on her, because she's got a major problem that happens to be right at her house.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Joining me now, I've got the panel here. Host of Hardball, MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Washington Post columnists, Jennifer Rubin, Sara Fagen, former political director for George W. Bush's administration and Eugene Robinson, also a Washington Post columnist. Welcome all. Chris, what's Trump up to with this Clinton attack? What's he up to on this one? What do you think he is?

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

Well, first, he's playing defense because he got caught with the charge of sexism, so he's shooting back. But just look at a couple facts. In 1998, the Republican party and the Congress impeached Bill Clinton. Two years later, Hillary Clinton was elected U.S. senator for New York. Just get those two facts. There's a causality there.

Because the way she handled a very difficult situation, the solid way she handled it, going up and campaigning for Chuck Schumer in '98, really being a party fighter, the real champion in the Democratic party, despite all the embarrassment, made her look strong, it gave her a chance to prove herself as the independent political figure, she's a United States senator. And if she hadn't been elected to the United States Senate, hadn't had the guts to run for it, she would've been a candidate in 2008.

SARA FAGEN:

I think this is a shrewd move for him in the primary. More importantly than the general. Because here's a person who seven months ago said that Bill Clinton was the president he admired most of recent history, more than either President Bush he admired Bill Clinton. He defended him, as you pointed out. He has called Hillary Clinton a friend, called her a great senator.

CHUCK TODD:

So he needed a shift. So you're saying he needed to shift on this?--

SARA FAGEN:

He needs to inoculate himself against coming attacks.

JENNIFER RUBIN:

I think this has everything to do with the Republican primary and nothing to do with the Democrats or the general election. Trump is the man who channels anger. He is the guy who, he says, speaks against political correctness. Well, this is what he's doing. This is what his folks like to hear. They like to hear liberals' attacks on Democrats, they like to hear irreverence. And I think this is the act that he's been doing all along, that's in the primary.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

Yeah, but the other thing he's doing is establishing himself or portraying himself as the Republican candidate.

CHUCK TODD:

Inevitably? Yeah.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

And he takes this into the general election, him versus Hillary Clinton.

CHUCK TODD:

Just when we're all focused on the primary.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

That's good for him.

CHUCK TODD:

But there's always a reason why Trump goes after somebody. Something sets him off. Let me play for you what I think set Trump off initially. It had nothing to do with sexism. It's what Hillary Clinton said at a debate.

(BEGIN TAPE)

HILLARY CLINTON:

He is becoming ISIS's best recruiter. They are going to people, showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Now listen to this. Now obviously, there was no video at the time that existed, okay? That was not true. In the last 48 hours, there is a video out there. Al-Shabaab, an Al Qaeda-affiliated group in Somalia. I think we will show some form of this. It basically just showed Donald Trump doing this. That's what set him off, Chris.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

So now he'll say she gave them the idea.

CHUCK TODD:

What do you mean by that.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

The fact that she said they're using his video to recruit, well, subsequent to her saying that, they began to do it. It was frightening RIGHT--

CHUCK TODD:

That's what his logic is going to be?

EUGENE ROBINSON:

Well, I think his reaction actually was, you know, "You've got to say what you've got to say," right? I mean, you know? "And I'm Donald Trump, so I say what--"

CHUCK TODD:

All right, you're all guessing. I've got to show you something. Here's what some of his supporters in Biloxi, Mississippi said last night about the charge.

(BEGIN TAPE)

MALE TRUMP SUPPORTER:

I don't believe it at all. I don't. I don't believe I at all. Screw the damn Muslims.

FEMALE TRUMP SUPPORTER:

That's a bunch of baloney. I don't believe it a second of it. No.

FEMALE TRUMP SUPPORTER:

I think it's stupid. Stupid news people. It's not happening. It's not happened. Making Donald Trump look bad.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

They don't believe the video is real.

SARA FAGEN:

Right.

JENNIFER RUBEN:

They don't believe the video of anything. They don't believe any bad piece of information about Trump. This is the irony or the horror, from the point of view of the Republican establishment, that he can say anything, do anything, and it can be completely--

EUGENE ROBINSON:

The fascinating thing he's trying to do, though, which is, to, you know, "stupid news people." Right. And so at every rally, he points at the press standing back there, and he points to them and he said--

CHUCK TODD:

It's a little antagonistic

EUGENE ROBINSON:

--"Those people lie, those people are awful, those people are scum."

CHUCK TODD:

It's a little antagonistic.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

This is Donald Trump, who lives on exposure that the others give him.

CHUCK TODD:

I know.

SARA FAGEN:

I think you're right. I think you're right. When a candidate opponent points out his inexperience in politics, that's when he goes ballistic. And he's too bombastic and too shortsighted to understand that these comments resonate around the world. And when he gets called on it, he lashes out.

CHUCK TODD:

But let me point something out to you, Chris. Because by the way, I think you're going to be interviewing Hillary Clinton.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

Tuesday.

CHUCK TODD:

Tuesday, right? He does find a way to get at the one thing that somebody doesn't want to talk about. And while it's always benefited Hillary Clinton whenever there's conversation about Bill Clinton's past, she hates talking about it.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

Well, who would? Who would like talking about it? What I just want to talk about is, you know, the great clip of those two people or three people down there in Biloxi. There is a revolutionary spirit in this country right now. I've been reading. I went back and saw the two versions of Tale of Two Cities. And I've been reading in a Dickens book. It's about this anger that you're going to talk about later in the poll. This deep anger among the people about the establishment, the Ancien Regime, the Bourbons, the Bushes, the wars our young men have to fight in and get back into the more and more deployments, trade deals that give away the good jobs with China, immigration that gives the bad jobs to the immigrants. And people are so angry about that, they don't want to hear details about what Shabaab is up to.

CHUCK TODD:

You know what you just did? You just gave me a good segue.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

Okay.

CHUCK TODD:

So we're going to talk a lot about what's making people angry later in the show. But I want to do a commercial break. Because that's what they make me do here. When we come back, President Obama used his weekly address to talk about guns. And he's looking to close the gun show loophole without Congress. Then back to 2016 and what Chris just told you about, why Americans are so angry about politics today, and who is it that's actually going to be able to ride that wave to the White House.

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. President Obama is trying again to limit the number of guns in America. The president will meet with his attorney general, Loretta Lynch, tomorrow. And they're going to discuss steps that he believes he can take legally, without Congress. One step he plans on taking is this: changing the definition of a gun dealer, so that people who sell firearms at gun shows fit that definition and have to use the background check system when they sell.

Essentially, this is the president's way of closing the gun show loophole without Congress. In December, a gun safety advocate, Captain Mark Kelly and his wife, former Representative Gabby Giffords, who survived a horrific shooting five years ago this week, by the way, met with President Obama about some possible new gun measures. Well, the former NASA astronaut and cofounder of Americans for Responsible Solutions joins me now. Captain Kelly, welcome back to Meet the Press, sir.

CAPT. MARK KELLY:

Thanks, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:

So I know you know some of what he might be considering. You have made recommendations to the president. The gun show loophole appears to be the most substantive idea out there. Is it feasible?

CAPT. MARK KELLY:

Well, we think it is. So after the Newtown tragedy, Congress tried to get passed a piece of legislation that would close those loopholes. It failed due to a filibuster in the Senate. And after that, Gabby and I directed our staff at Americans for Responsible Solutions to look for other alternatives.

And as it would turn out, the reason why we have some of these loopholes that you can drive a truck through with 40 percent of gun sales not requiring a background check, is because the way they define in the regulation, the way that they define being in the business of selling firearms.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay, let's say he makes this change. You can't really enforce the change without resources. And as you know, A.T.F. is an agency that is starved of resources. We did a comparison when it comes to regulation with the F.D.A., for instance. And over basically the last decade, the F.D.A. has seen over the last five years, the F.D.A. had seen a near 50 percent increase in its resources from Congress. A.T.F. not even 10 percent. In fact, they have fewer staff today than they did five years ago. If you don't have the A.T.F. staff, you can't enforce these new regulations.

CAPT. MARK KELLY:

Well, that's true. And so, I mean, one of the other things we need to do is work on getting A.T.F. the money it needs to do its job. But the other side of that, Chuck, is that one of the things that has frustrated the A.T.F. for all these years is the fact that they know there are individuals out there selling hundreds, if not thousands of guns a year.

And they don't have the authority to do anything about it. And these are guns that are often sold to criminals without a background check. And they can't do anything about it. So we need to fix that part of this as well. But you're right, the funding is important.

CHUCK TODD:

What is something, I know one of the things that you have said, we've had this conversation before, is you want to try to get, I guess, the East Coast or urban America to understand the gun culture in rural America. How do you translate that to the president?

CAPT. MARK KELLY:

Well, I mean, the president and I have talked about this. I mean, when you look at places in middle America, people who make less money than they used to. I mean, I just saw this blog entry by Fareed Zakaria the other day, that the one area is middle aged white men, where life expectancy is going down. So you have this segment of society that just feels like they're losing things.

And they look at gun issues and the right to own a gun as one of those things that they might be losing. Now, the other side of this, is we have horrific levels of gun violence, with nearly 100,000 people shot every year, 30,000 dead. And there are some solid things, like closing these background check loopholes, that will have a significant impact on the number of people that die in this nation.

CHUCK TODD:

You know, though, a lot of people say if you just enforce the laws that are on the books, maybe some progress is made. Are you one of those that believes that?

CAPT. MARK KELLY:

Well, you know, it's interesting that that is used by the gun lobby. Anyway, I heard it when I was testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. And what they're getting at is actually charging the individuals, felons, who try to buy a gun and fail a background check.

What these individuals don't point up that use, you know, that line of enforcing the current laws, is we have prevented felons and people who are domestic abusers, and people who are dangerously, mentally ill, from buying a gun nearly two million times because they failed a background check. Of course we need to enforce the laws. But at the same time, preventing those two million individuals from getting a gun has had a serious impact on gun violence.

CHUCK TODD:

Mark Kelly, I'm going to leave it there. Americans for Sensible Solutions on Gun Safety. We'll be, I'm sure, hearing from you later in the week when we hear more from the president. Now, for the other side of this conversation, joining me now is Lieutenant Governor of Texas, Dan Patrick. On January 1st, a new law went into effect in Texas, making it the largest state in the union, to allow people to openly carry handguns in public. Lieutenant Governor Patrick, welcome to Meet the Press, sir.

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK:

Chuck, good to be with you. In terms of your previous guest, totally wrong on inner-cities or the cities to the rural areas. First of all, since President Obama became president, we've seen gun permits increase from 4.7 million to almost 13 million. A 15% increase last year. And one of the largest areas of people getting gun permits are people in urban areas who are afraid.

Particularly women whose gun permits have increased 270%, compared to men, 156%. Chuck, everyone in America knows, law enforcement does a great job. But they're after the fact in most cases. You have to be able to defend yourself. And no one understands that better in Texas. We're now the 45th state, Chuck, the 45th that allows open carry in America.

CHUCK TODD:

Now you're going to have, look, there's a lot of law enforcement that are struggling to figure out how you're going to decide if somebody is open carrying, has a weapon, and somebody sees a person carrying a weapon, they may call 911 and say, "Hey, there's somebody in the mall carrying a weapon." Now, it's legal in Texas, but yeah, that's going to scare some people. Is this is not sort of, a asking for a public chaos frankly?

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK:

No, it's not.

CHUCK TODD:

Why?

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK:

No, it's not, Chuck. In fact, the law enforcement from Oklahoma actually came and testified before our committees and the legislature in Texas and said it has not been a problem. Again, 44 states, Chuck, already have open carry. Michigan's had it for 175 years. Vermont's always had it. We have not seen these problems.

Concealed carry, which we've had in Texas since the mid '90s, we've virtually had zero problems. In fact, someone with a concealed carry, who can now open carry in Texas, is 12 times less likely to commit even a misdemeanor. This is just propaganda by those who either don't like guns, who are afraid of guns, which I respect, some people don't like them. But don't stop us, who love guns, who love the Second Amendment, from being able to protect ourselves, our family, our businesses, and our friends.

CHUCK TODD:

You know, you have to meet a higher threshold of a background check to get a concealed carry permit and to get this, in essence, to get an open carry permit. Why shouldn't that be the standard for all gun ownership?

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK:

You know, I'm one who believes the Second Amendment guarantees everyone the right to own a gun. In fact, in the--

CHUCK TODD:

So why are regulating anything? Why is there any standard on open carry? By that standard, there shouldn't be a standard on open carry, right?

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK:

Because it's been, Chuck, because it's been an evolving process in this country. In 2000, only 35% of Americans thought they needed a gun to protect themselves and their homes. Today, the Gallup polls show that over 60% believe that. It's an evolving issue.

And even the Supreme Court has evolved on it. In 2008, the Heller Decision, the Supreme Court said the Second Amendment guaranteed those rights to individuals, not just a militia. So all of these issues are evolving. Right now, only New York, Illinois, California, South Carolina, and Florida, do not allow open carry. So 45 states have moved to this.

CHUCK TODD:

Do you think there's too many--

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK:

No, I don't think--

CHUCK TODD:

Do you think there are too many hurdles? No, no, no, you didn't let me finish my question-- do you think there's too many hurdles to get a concealed-carry permit or an open-carry permit?

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK:

No, and I think again, that is evolving. I passed a bill as a senator before I become lieutenant governor that changed the process of getting a permit to online only, for example. So all of the states are evolving. And I want to see a day when every American citizen can simply have a gun, does not have to go through a long ordeal or pay a high price. We're going to address that in Texas as well. Because it's the right of every individual under the Second Amendment.

Texas is the largest state to have open carry. And let me also add this, Chuck. That everywhere that we have more citizens carrying guns, crime is less. There's a study showing that where states have open carry or concealed carry, but particularly open carry, the crime is down 25%. Murders are down. Having law-abiding citizens having guns is a good thing.

In fact, Chuck, every one of the mass shootings except two in America since 1950 have been gun-free zones. And everyone in Europe, where people have guns, bad guys don't go. And you're never going to stop bad guys from getting guns with background checks at gun shows. Let America have their guns, let them defend themselves, and America will be a safer place.

CHUCK TODD:

I have a feeling we're not going to resolve this political debate this morning on Meet the Press. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, thanks for coming on the show this morning.

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK:

Chuck, thanks for having me. Thank you.

CHUCK TODD:

Up next, we're going to go back to the 2016 race and focus on this issue. We know Americans are angry at our politics. It's the defining characteristics of this election season. But we're going to look at who's angriest and why. But first, I want to make a note of a passing this week.

Former Arkansas senator and governor Dale Bumpers died Friday. He was a moderate southern Democrat who many thought might become the first Arkansas governor to become president. Instead, Bumpers may be best known for defending one of his former Arkansas Democratic rivals, Bill Clinton, at his impeachment trial in 1998.

(BEGIN TAPE)

DALE BUMPERS:

H.L. Mencken said one time, "When you hear somebody say, 'This is not about the money,' it's about the money." And when you hear somebody say, "This is not about sex," it's about sex.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Dale Bumpers was 90.

* * *COMMERCIAL BREAK* * *

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. Anger and frustration have been the defining characteristic so far of the presidential election. But who in America is angry, and why? We teamed up with our pals at Esquire Magazine in an attempt to find out.

We asked Americans this simple question: Compared to a year ago, do you get angry more often than you used to about current events and news? Well, overall 49 percent of americans said they do infact get angry more often.

Well who are these angry people and who is the angriest? Well, the angriest group? Whites. Turns out Whites are angrier than African Americans and Latinos.

A majority- 54 percent of Whites said they're angrier, compared to just 43 percent of latinos, and 33 percent of African Americans.

And while there is anger on both sides of the political aisle, there's more anger among Republicans: 61 percent of them say they are angrier than they were last year, compared to 42 percent of Democrats who described themselves that way.

But here's our big myth-busting moment of our survey: It's women who are angriest. Fifty-three percent of women said they're angrier today than they were a year ago, compared to 44 percent of men.

And it's white women who are most angry of all. Fifty-eight percent say they're angrier today than a year ago, compared with 51 percent of white men.

So we've told you who is angry. When we come back in a moment we're going to attempt to tell you why these folks are angry and who might benefit the most later in this campaign.

And later, you're not going to want to miss President Obama getting coffee with Jerry Seinfeld

(BEGIN TAPE)

PRES. OBAMA:

I always wanted to be in a show about nothing and here I am

JERRY SEINFELD:

There's nothing nothing-er than this. Nothing.

(END TAPE)

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

And we're back with the panel and Richard Dorment, senior editor of Esquire Magazine and my partner in this poll, joins us to talk about the survey we just told you about. Richard, welcome to Meet the Press sir.

RICHARD DORMENT:

Great to be here.

CHUCK TODD:

All right, it's going to hit newsstands on Tuesday, cover is Donald Trump as you just said, as you just said, as you called him the "avatar of anger." Let's get into the why. I want to put up one other poll question about the American dream, is it alive for you. "Is the American dream still alive and well?" And a majority said, "It's once true, but not anymore." But what was fascinating here is that when you broke it down by ethnicity.

RICHARD DORMENT:

Right. I mean, when you look at all the ethnicity, whites are the angriest of all Americans, with white women in particular being the angriest subgroup. But when you asked them why, the majority of white men and women get really angry when they say that the American dream is not what it used to be.

That America's leadership role in the world is not what it used to be. And that life didn't turn out for them the way that they thought it would be. This is the anger perceived diminishment. And it's why a slogan like "Make America great again," resonates so strongly with, you know, white, middle-class voters.

CHUCK TODD:

Again, Chris, you were just tapping.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

Yeah.

CHUCK TODD:

That's why I said you were providing us a great segue. I'm sure you were hearing him going, "That's it."

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

Well, I think there's a deep sense of betrayal. It's nationalist, it's economic nationalism. A feeling that the jobs are going to China. Chief jobs are going to illegal immigrants. And our sons and daughters are being re-upped in the military for more and more deployments in this backdoor draft that's going on. So the working guy out there, the working woman says, "We're getting screwed." And nobody's respecting our American citizenship. And that, I think, is the national--

SARA FAGEN:

It's really interesting--

EUGENE ROBINSON:

I think there's also an atmospheric element to that. I mean, the fact that this demographic change means that the country is getting less white. There's not going to be a white majority in a few years. And also, you know, you get online or you're on voicemail, and you have to press one to continue in English or two to do-- I think that sort of thing impacts these numbers.

CHUCK TODD:

The A.T.M. does that--

SARA FAGEN:

I was really surprised by the findings that it was women that were more angry than men.

CHUCK TODD:

Yeah, totally.

SARA FAGEN:

Well, it's conventional wisdom that the angry white male.

CHUCK TODD:

Right.

SARA FAGEN:

But if you think about, you know, middle-aged women taking care of kids, taking care of parents, having made no more money really in 25 years, and at least they had being an American. And now there's a question about that.

CHUCK TODD:

Richard, jump in here.

RICHARD DORMENT:

Well, I think the most important thing when it comes to women is that yes, they share many of the same frustrations as men as far as the direction of the laws, the direction of the country. But unlike men, they're much more empathetic to the mistreatment of others. So they look at the newsfeeds, they look at the headlines when they see police brutality against whites-- blacks rather. They see a discrimination against L.G.B.T. They take that personally and they absorb it. So that sort of tips them over.

CHUCK TODD:

It's an expanded portfolio of anger?

RICHARD DORMENT:

Correct.

CHUCK TODD:

It's not just this disgruntled--

JENNIFER RUBIN:

I don't think we can disregard what Chris said which was about the nationalism. There is a reason why people feel like America is not great. And that is that we've had a disastrous foreign policy for at least seven years, if you want to go back, probably more than that.

CHUCK TODD:

People are going to argue 15.

JENNIFER RUBIN:

Right, exactly.

JENNIFER RUBIN:

So, we have a president who seems to be kind of almost indifferent to attacks on American soil, when he seems to be ridiculing the American people for being concerned and says it's cable TV. People do get angry about that. And he doesn't, the lack of national leadership, on the other side, I don't think you can ignore sort of the culture of the right, which has become perpetually angry. Which is the talk show television sort of culture.

SARA FAGEN:

Some of this is partisan driven. But I think Jennifer's right. You have a president who hasn't been strong in attacking jihadism.

CHUCK TODD:

By the way, the Republicans are angry when a Democrat's in the White House.

SARA FAGEN:

Sure they are.

CHUCK TODD:And Democrats were angry when a Republican was in the White House

EUGENE ROBINSON:

We're not reason to be angry at George W. Bush when he was in the White House--

RICHARD DORMENT:

But what's different about this moment in time is that--

CHUCK TODD:

I was just going to say.

RICHARD DORMENT:

--is rather than anger just being, you know, in discrete pockets across the political and ideological spectrum, we're seeing it everywhere. We're seeing it explain Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. We're seeing it explain Black Lives Matters and the immigration movement. It's everywhere right now.

SARA FAGEN:

Well, in addition to our politics, we've had a complete breakdown of confidence and institutions in this country.

CHUCK TODD:

Right, well that adds to it.

SARA FAGEN:

It's not just political institutions, it's the courts. It's religion, it's the news media. It's everything.

CHUCK TODD:

Richard, I want to give you the last word. Is it cultural, or is it economic, or is it both?

RICHARD DORMENT:

It's everything. But I wouldn't discount cultural issues. Because especially when you look at black Americans today, even though they might have a more legitimate case to be angry, they are less angry than whites.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. I'm going to leave it there, Richard. It was fun to do this project with you. It's our second one. Hopefully we can continue this partnership--

RICHARD DORMENT:

Until next time.

CHUCK TODD:

Until next time. Don't forget Tuesday, the newsstands, Esquire. We'll be back in 60 seconds with why attacking Donald Trump should come with a warning label for all Republicans.

* * *COMMERCIAL BREAK* * *

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. There is one thing Donald Trump has said that can't be denied: attack him at your own peril. And he's got political bodies to prove it. Watch this.

(BEGIN TAPE)

RICK PERRY:

Donald Trump's candidacy is a cancer on conservatism and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised, and discarded.

BOBBY JINDAL:

We can make America great again. But we will not do that by putting an unserious and unstable narcissist in the White House.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM:

Donald Trump has done the one single thing you cannot do. Declare war on Islam itself.

GEORGE PATAKI:

Donald Trump is the know-nothing candidate of the 21st century and cannot be our nominee.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

All right, so those are all one-percenters looking for a way in. But Gene, I think there's a reason why John Kasich, for instance, was so hesitant to attack Trump. And Rand Paul, hesitant. Would rather attack Cruz and Rubio than Trump. They can't take it.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

Yes, they proved that exercise.

CHUCK TODD:Yes.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

And people hesitate to attack him because of the way he comes back. And he has great instincts for finding the weak point and going after it and working it and working it.

CHUCK TODD:

He's a kidney puncher.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

He's the kid in school that gives you your nickname.

Jennifer Rubin:

Right.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

He's the one that knows your nickname, that gave you that nickname.

JENNIFER RUBIN:

But--

CHUCK TODD:

Old squeaky shoes.

JENNIFER RUBIN:

In fairness, there are a lot of people still in the race, of course, who are attacking Trump, including Kasich, including--

CHUCK TODD:

Not successfully. Six percent, five percent.

JENNIFER RUBIN:

We also have Rubio at times going against him. So the reason that Bobby Jindal failed was not because he attacked Trump, it was because also candidates--

SARA FAGEN:

But as this field continues to narrow, and it's Donald Trump versus one or two other candidates, that's when this race will really come into focus.

CHUCK TODD:

All right.

SARA FAGEN:

And I'm not saying he won't do well.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

Heard this before, but.

SARA FAGEN:

Yeah, but the challenge right now for the mainstream Republicans is there are too many candidates.

JENNIFER RUBIN:

Yes.

SARA FAGEN:

And we need to have one candidate.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay. It's interesting you say that. New Hampshire. I cannot figure out. Everybody says they're all in in New Hampshire. Christie, Rubio, Bush.

SARA FAGEN:

There's a very good reason for that.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay, I get it. No, I know, it's a good election.

SARA FAGEN:

Five points between the five people--

CHUCK TODD:

But guess what? Ted Cruz is going to win the New Hampshire primary or finish second. Everybody's going to go, "How the heck did that happen?"

JENNIFER RUBIN:

Maybe or maybe not. It's very close. Christie is spending a huge amount of time on the ground. He's making a big deal of the fact Cruz is not spending time on the ground. Your own videos there showed he's spending what, like, 48 days--

CHUCK TODD:

Cruz hasn't been to New Hampshire since November.

JENNIFER RUBIN:

Correct. But--

EUGENE ROBINSON:

Look, in a normal year, when people finish third in primaries, we don't think they're doing so hot. I think that's-- And we're all talking about people who will be lucky to finish third in Iowa or New Hampshire

SARA FAGEN:

I don't agree with that in this cycle. Because here's the situation.

CHUCK TODD:

I hear you.

SARA FAGEN:

You have Donald Trump at roughly 30 percent in New Hampshire. And then five candidates behind him, all bunched up together, five points separating them. After Iowa, this thing is going to jumble again.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

0But no establishment candidate wins any primary caucus, wins any.

CHUCK TODD:

I think that's possible.

CHRIS MATTHEWS

Once you've got the taint of the establishment on you this year, you're dead meaT. You'll see.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. I want a quick-- this is the headline. Frank Bruni today in the news. "Marco Rubio doesn't add up."

EUGENE ROBINSON:

Just saying it.

CHUCK TODD:

He is supposed to be the savior of the establishment. And yet he doesn't spend enough-- We don't know his money. Know why we don't know his money totals? Because he doesn't have money totals, I'm guessing, that are better than Ted Cruz.

JENNIFER RUBIN:

Well, maybe he wants to save them after the holidays, when people are actually paying attention to the news. So we'll see a peek probably or perhaps then. I think the issue with Marco Rubio is that he's a little too polished, a little too glib, a little too effortless for his own good.

CHUCK TODD:

In the wrong year to be that.

JENNIFER RUBIN:

Correct. People want this intense, emotional connection.

CHUCK TODD:

And he doesn't give.

JENNIFER RUBIN:

Chris Christie has figured that out. He's giving it to the people in New Hampshire.

SARA FAGEN:

But Christie to me is one that I would watch. He has a Donald Trump-esque style, but a record of governing in a difficult time.

JENNIFER RUBIN:

The thinking man's Donald Trump.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

See how it goes down.

SARA FAGEN:

It's a fair point, but--

CHUCK TODD:

Let's close with a little bit of fun before we go. I've been teasing this Seinfeld thing all week, I better get there. We all way say we've had a show about a lot of things, not nothing. But anyway, if you missed this during your holiday break, you've just got to take a look at it. Let me give you one more clip. This was President Obama doing Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld. It's a big hit on digital.

(BEGIN TAPE)

JERRY SEINFELD:

You're one of those guys, even though you seem very relaxed, with food. What's your thing with--

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

Nachos.

JERRY SEINFELD:

Nachos.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

That's one of those where I have to have it taken away. I'll have guacamole coming out of my eyeballs.

JERRY SEINFELD:

Yes.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

There's a longer one. You've got to go take a look at it, about why he thinks politics is like football. And he also talk about, because you know what, sometimes you've got to punt. That's all we have for today. What a 2016 start. We'll be back next week. Because if it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press.

* * *END OF TRANSCRIPT* * *